The 202s are a warm jumper of a band. Their sound is instantly familiar no matter which angle you approach it from, yet still comfortable and always enjoyable. Their specific brand of pop draws from a Bassetts assorted mix of music lover treats. Be it the Zero 7 ambience, the post-punk baritone vocals, those rock solid krautrock beats, the Yo La Tengo gentility or the glorious Kinks inflected melodies, all of the different sources trickle into the soundscape and provide a surprisingly large amount of enjoyment for even a casual pop culture obsessive. They’re the kind of group whose every word you should hang onto and for their first release of 2017 they’ve really made a convincing argument for that devotion.
The Up In Thin Air EP is exactly what you need in the more miserable early parts of the year. It’s four tracks including the titular single, two remixes and a demo and each is irresistible in its own way. The eponymous song and it’s accompanying remix from Richie Egan (Jape) are delights from start to finish, with the latter evoking the same magic that LCD Soundsystem found on ‘Someone Great’. Lights 106’s reinterpretation of ‘Who Cares About Sunshine’, a cut from their self-titled 2016 effort, is primed and ready for radio play and ear drums. But the real wonder is saved for last with the closer, ‘Experts & Amateurs’, with its muted, hymnal manner and sincerity. Emotional and completely bloody brilliant.